Brunswick-based Gelato Fiasco Inc. is in the process of relocating part of its production operations to a plant in Michigan, a move that the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer said could result in the elimination of about eight positions.
Joshua Davis said in a telephone interview Sunday night that the affected workers will be offered jobs in other parts of the company.
Nothing else will change, Davis said. Management at corporate headquarters and the production plant, which is called Flavor Foundry, on Industry Road in Brunswick, as well as workers at the flagship store on Maine Street in Brunswick and on Fore Street in Portland’s Old Port district, will not be affected.
Gelato Fiasco opened a store in Orlando, Florida, in May.
Davis said Gelato Fiasco’s success forced the company to consider moving part of its flavor production line to a co-packing manufacturing facility in Michigan. He said the practice of ice cream manufacturers sharing a facility is very common.
After a series of test runs in Michigan, Davis said he told a small group of employees on Sept. 24 about the production change, which will likely become effective in late October.
“We just have been unable to keep up with production at our current facility,” Davis said.
Currently, Gelato Fiasco produces about 8,000 pints of gelato daily and distributes its product to more than 6,000 retailers across the nation.
Gelato is a style of ice cream that dates back several centuries to Italy. The primary ingredient in gelato is milk, not cream, allowing flavors to come through more strongly than in traditional ice cream.
The flagship store, for example, offers up to 40 flavors of fresh gelato daily, ranging from big ole peanut butter, pumpkin pie and lemon orange carrot to cookie therapy and nutterfluffer.
Its website says that flavors originate from a collection of more than 1,500 house recipes.
According to Davis, Gelato Fiasco employs about 45 full-time workers now at the plant in Brunswick. Those figures can increase into the high 50s during peak season, which typically occurs during the summer months.
While Davis is pleased that his product is doing well, it’s an industry that requires companies like his to make changes to keep up with the competition.
“It can be a very challenging business environment,” he said.
Gelato Fiasco makes its gelato and sorbetto at the Flavor Foundry in Brunswick.
The facility, which is located off Water Street, also serves as corporate headquarters.
Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:
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